I've said it on here before, but I love songwriting. The idea of starting the day with a blank piece of paper and finishing it with a bunch of lyrics hanging on a melody that hadn't existed when the sun came up is still a fantastic feeling. My dalliance with the craft can best be described as fleeting - I only flirt with it (I'd love to commit, but I'm hampered by my questionable ability), hence if I write two songs a year then I'm doing well. To make up for my cripplingly low output I bask in the songs of others; proper songwriters.
So what makes a proper songwriter? You know how good a songwriter is when your peers want to cover your songs. Roddy Frame is one such exponent. Both with Aztec Camera and solo his mastery of the dark art is not up for debate. Clive Gregson (no songwriting slouch he) obviously concurs. In 1990 when Clive was still knocking around with Christine Collister they recorded a beguiling version of one of Roddy's signature tunes as part of a blinding covers collection entitled Love is a Strange Hotel. It still knocks me for six every time I hear it. But here's the original. And this knocks me for seven.
Aztec Camera - How Men Are (1987)
Oh my, I'm feeling a bit down today (but not debilitatingly so) and that song has just knocked me for seven too. So beautiful.ReplyDelete
As for the songwriting, if you write songs you are a proper songwriter. You may well have a future classic in the making. Keep on keeping on as I think you told me once.
I once sent one of my songs to Rod Stewart, so convinced was I that it was his next, surefire, Number One. I think Royal Mail must have been on strike that week...Delete
It's funny, John. I feel about the songs on this album the same way you do about Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen album. I think Love is slick and overproduced, but the songs really shine when Roddy plays them on his own... just as Paddy's solo takes do.ReplyDelete
I can't disagree with a word of that, Brian. A song will, invariably, be written with just an acoustic guitar (or maybe at the piano), so its first airing is a very stripped back version - before the knob twiddling goes on (think 'The Long and Winding Road' before Spector got his grubby mitts on it). I may have mentioned in my blog before about 'songs' and 'records'; often two very different things.Delete